How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

No matter how safe and predictable you are behind the wheel, accidents happen on the road. Automotive accidents and collisions are already scary enough, but the financial repercussions that linger after an accident can cause additional distress. 

If you were recently involved in an accident and had to bring insurance into the mix, you may wonder, “why did my insurance go up?” Several factors determine rising rates for your insurance premiums after an accident or collision. Follow along to uncover why your insurance rates may have spiked after an accident.

Do insurance rates go up after a no-fault accident?

Car insurance form with keys and toy car

Generally speaking, any incident or accident that occurs and is submitted as a claim to insurance has the potential to increase your insurance premiums. However, if a no-fault accident occurs in your vehicle, it’s possible that your rates will not be affected. Usually, insurance companies will only raise your insurance rates when you are at fault for the accident, and it causes damage to property or a person.

In the case of a stolen vehicle, a hit-and-run collision, fire or flood damage, or damage sustained to your car while it’s legally parked are all claims covered under comprehensive insurance. Generally speaking, comprehensive insurance claims should not raise your insurance premiums. However, if you’ve submitted recent claims on top of your comprehensive incident claim, your insurance company could flag you as a high-risk driver and increase your premium rate.

How long do accidents stay on your record?

When you’re involved in an accident, and insurance gets involved via an automotive insurance claim, the event is recorded by your insurance and will stay on record. How long the claimed accident will remain on your record with your insurance company will depend on the particular company you’re insured through and the state where the accident occurred. You can generally expect increased rates if your accident is on record with your insurance company. The average time that an accident stays on your record is between three to five years. Some states require accidents to remain on your record for up to five years, and others cap the limit to three years.

How much does insurance go up after an accident?

The amount that your insurance will go up after an accident will depend on your coverage provider. Some insurance companies will drastically increase your premium after submitting a claim, and some are less strict. However, if you were at fault in the accident and it resulted in damage to a person or property, you should expect your rate to rise. 

Some insurance rates can skyrocket up to 40% higher after an at-fault accident occurs and is placed on your record. After your rates increase, consider looking at other providers to decrease your overall premium insurance rate. Remember that you can see increased rates across many options while an accident is on your record. Additionally, suppose your insurance company offers incentives such as accident forgiveness programs. Those amenities will usually be removed after an auto insurance claim, especially if you’re more than 50% at fault.

Why do insurance companies increase rates after an accident?

Contrary to popular belief, insurance companies don’t increase insurance rates because they are “out to get you”. When a claim is submitted to insurance companies, the driver at fault is flagged as a risky driver. Adjusted insurance rates result from your insurance company collecting new data from your driving activity and analyzing the likeliness of potential future claims. With new data alluding to a possible increase in auto insurance claims, your insurance company will increase your rates to offset the additional cost and likelihood of future accidents involving you and your vehicle.

How do you get car insurance lowered?

Toy wooden car with umbrella signifying car insurance

There are no magic tricks that will immediately lower your car insurance rates. If you find that your rates have increased after an accident, especially if you were not at fault, you may be able to work with your insurance to prove that you were innocent in the incident. If you can prove that you were not at fault, your insurance will likely not raise your insurance rates.

If you were at fault for the automotive incidents that raised your insurance rates, time will be your best resource. Making sure you remain a safe driver and do not file additional insurance claims will help your insurance company view you as a safer driver. With time, your accident will also be erased from your record, and your rates should lower.

 

While there are many aspects to why insurance rates can fluctuate, one of the most distressing causes will be an automotive incident or collision. No one wants to be involved in an automotive incident. However, accidents do happen, and it’s vital to understand the varied factors that play a part in increased insurance rates. 

Nealon, L., 2022, How much will my car insurance go up after an accident?.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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